In an article yesterday evening, Alyson Footer brought the noise on who, exactly will win the right to bat 8th in 2009.
I think all the worrying about catcher pretty much sums up the farm system woes, because we're all really worried about who is going to pick up Ausmus' slack. Are you kidding? Sure he was a great guy, and could "handle a pitching staff" - which, by the by, is ridiculous.
An aside: I'm looking into the impact Ausmus has had on the pitching staffs of his teams. That's coming soon.
Within the article, there is an interesting note saying Pudge Rodriguez' representation has contacted Easy Eddie on different occasions this off-season. But since he'll cost more than $2.13/hour + tips, they'll pass, thanks. Anyhow there are seven catchers on the roster, but only four in the mix to make the team: Quintero, Towles, Palmisano and Toby Hall.
Here's how I'd handicap the race...
Q and Hall, I feel, will open the season on the team. Remember Palmisano has to stay on the roster all season in order not to lose him. But Hall is a veteran, and could provide some leadership for Quintero. Footer notes that Palmisano has some pop in his bat, which would be a change, but I just don't think he'll outplay Hall in Spring Training.
Easy Eddie said this about Palmisano:
"I've never seen him, but our scouts have seen him and [assistant GM] Bobby Heck had first-hand knowledge and contact with him. The knee issue he dealt with last year that kept him out longer than anticipated has completely healed. He has a chance to be an offensive catcher for us. With Rule 5 guys, you stick them out there and try to get as good of a look as possible to get a true evaluation."
Don't rule out Bobby Heck getting what Bobby Heck wants. I still believe the starting catcher's job is Quintero's to lose.